Chantecler and Ameraucana pullets
We have plans to turn our 63 acres into a homestead in the next 10 years and hope to have chickens, goats and perhaps a horse liven up the place.

In 2015, we bought Chantecler and Ameraucana chicks, both winter hardy birds that will lay eggs. Since the chicks were not sexed and we wanted to end up with 3 egg layers, we got six chicks, with the intent to get rid of the roosters and keep the hens.

We bought feed from champion feed services; they can tell you exactly what kind of feed you need for raising chicks and later for feeding egg layers. The chicks were only a day old when we got them, and we kept them in a cage with a heat lamp for 7 weeks until they were big enough to go outside. By that time it was summer, so it never got very cold at night.

 We bought a nice coop from Home Hardware, to keep the chickens in during the summer. Our neighbour Allan has a large coop that is heated with propane and he suggested we keep the chickens in there during the winter.
Chicks with heat lamp
Coop for 3 egg laying chickens.
In 2016 we bought some more chicks, with the goal to add three more egg layers and have 6 meat chickens. We got 3 leghorns for eggs and 7 western rustics for meat from Rochester Hatchery in Westlock. To accommodate these additional chickens, Allan built a luxurious coop out of two smaller coops, chicken wire, some metal L profiles and a tarp. 
Expanded coop with outdoor run in 2016

Western Rustic meat chickens at 7 weeks
UPDATE October 6th 2016
We "processed" all eight meat chickens yesterday. We had one rooster in the batch of Western Rustics and we decided we'd keep him with the egg layers so we get some fertilized eggs next year. A Chantecler egg layer did not produce any eggs so we decided to use it for meat instead.

It was a cold but sunny day, which turned out to be perfect for doing this.  It took us about 3 hours to do all 8 chickens.

Poultry cone where chickens came to their timely demise

Cleaned chickens ready for the freezer

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